How do I position each of the drums in the kit?

beeter

Senior Member
I feel awkward playing my drum set, not sure if I have them positioned correctly. See the picture below:

https://imgur.com/a/Gah7AAJ

At the guitar center, they seem to have their drum sets positioned perfectly. I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong here.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
You actually haven't done too badly from the looks of it. But the whole thing is supposed to be an ergonomic construct, so that you can reach everything with minimal effort, and play it as it's meant to be played without causing yourself or the instrument damage.

I'm going to post a link here in a moment, but you want to start with a comfortable seating position that allows you to shift balance between your bum and each of your feet as needed to play the pedals. For some folks that's low and for others it's high. Let your feet fall naturally where they feel comfortable, not bent underneath you too much nor stretched out too far. That's where your pedals should be.

The snare should then be in between your legs at a height and angle so that if you put your elbows at your side, your sticks end up roughly in the middle of the drum.

The rest of the set follows accordingly, with the key concept being that everything feels comfortable to play.

I can see in your picture that you should probably bring the floor tom in a lot closer to the kick drum, and possibly scoot your hi-hat out a bit so that your knee isn't bent too much. Finally, consider that your left (crash) cymbal does not need to be tilted towards you at that angle, as most crashing is done on the edge and shoulder of the cymbal.

Drumeo video on ergonomic setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWOAhOPHRdE
Drum! article on ergonomic setup: http://drummagazine.com/how-to-set-up-your-drum-kit-for-comfort-and-efficiency/
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I've seen far worse.

The glaring one is your floor tom. It looks like it's in the next post code. Bring it over closer to your right leg.

Your cymbals also look like they could be crowding you a little bit. Try them slightly lower and a little flatter. See how that feels.

The mounted tom angles are possibly a little steep, but they're not outrageous. If it's comfortable for you, leave them be. If they feel a little uncomfortable, then try them a little lower and flatter as well.

Apart from the floor tom, the rest is just a matter of slightly tweaking things here and there until you get comfortable. Start by positioning your bass drum, snare and hi hat. Then work everything else around that.
 

beeter

Senior Member
I see. Yeah I feel like I'm slightly facing sideways to the left when I should be centered. Found it hard to use the floor toms this way as it felt too far right while at the same time I'm faced too far sideways to the left.

I've seen far worse.

The glaring one is your floor tom. It looks like it's in the next post code. Bring it over closer to your right leg.

Your cymbals also look like they could be crowding you a little bit. Try them slightly lower and a little flatter. See how that feels.

The mounted tom angles are possibly a little steep, but they're not outrageous. If it's comfortable for you, leave them be. If they feel a little uncomfortable, then try them a little lower and flatter as well.

Apart from the floor tom, the rest is just a matter of slightly tweaking things here and there until you get comfortable. Start by positioning your bass drum, snare and hi hat. Then work everything else around that.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Do be concerned with not facing the "front." There are no rules about where you drums and cymbals should be. The advice above is quite good. Peace and goodwill.
 

beeter

Senior Member
Ok. I felt like the bass pedal would be in the way if I centered the snare since the bass drum pedal (and bass drum) are centered, but I'll adjust (I'm a bit psychological).

My 2 cents.

Try the snare more centered, move the floor tom closer and flatten out the crashes
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Hey beeter.......it's a very daunting task to get your kit set up to be ergonomic, comfortable etc.

Everyone goes through it and even seasoned professionals still continually change their set up as they evolve musically.

There are so many factors involved such as your height, style of music and your natural gait when you sit, stand walk etc.

There's some absolutely fantastic resources available online that can steer you in the right direction.

YouTube has some very detailed and clear hints on your set-up.

The issue is we are ALL different with different sounds required for our playing.

The set-up that you have shown us has highlighted a few things to me.

Now these things are only MY perspective and Id be more than happy to explain to you on here if you like.

1) Your floor tom is too far away from your centre of gravity.

Bring your floor tom closer to your right side, that way you don't need to lean across so much......if you lean over too much you will lose your bass pedal control and it will sound uneven.

2) Your second tom is outside of your "reach of comfort radius"

If you put the second tom on the first tom mount and move your first tom on to a snare stand.......it will give you good easy access to both toms.

You can put your second tom on the snare stand if the snare basket won't accept anything under 12 inch diameter.

3) Your cymbals MAY be tilted too far inwards.


If you want me to continue chatting with you about it, we can go right back to basics if you like and we can build it up from scratch......but see how you go first.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
So I've taken a few pics of my set up which you can borrow any ideas.

This set up is ideal for me.......it's taken a few journeys to get there, but anyways.

The first pic gives you the "V" pattern between my hi-hat pedal and bass pedal.

My first tom is easy to get to, my ride is low and very comfy. I don't have to extend myself.

I'm still researching my crash cymbal (left) position, but so far it's good.

Anyways, I hope this may help you to work out positions.

Oh, my snare is actually quite high so my elbows and upper arms just dangle comfortably.

I find a lot of guys seem to have very low snares, mine is at my belly button level (maybe just a smidgen lower)
 

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alparrott

Platinum Member
Ok. I felt like the bass pedal would be in the way if I centered the snare since the bass drum pedal (and bass drum) are centered, but I'll adjust (I'm a bit psychological).
The bass drum and its pedal should not be considered "center"; the center of your knees when you sit comfortably is the center, and your snare drum should be there. Don't get hung up on facing a certain way or having the kick face a certain way.

Figure three in the Drum! article I posted in my first reply illustrates this perfectly. Please take the time to look at this article - it answers many of your questions.

 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The bass drum and its pedal should not be considered "center"; the center of your knees when you sit comfortably is the center, and your snare drum should be there. Don't get hung up on facing a certain way or having the kick face a certain way.

Figure three in the Drum! article I posted in my first reply illustrates this perfectly. Please take the time to look at this article - it answers many of your questions.

Agree with your reasoning but would still like to have the hihat pedal a little more forward which would bet you a little more centered without moving anything else. That to me is a little too wide. My groin muscles hurt. Also the snare could be much closer to the bass drum. It is possible to be almost forward and still have everything in reach. Facing left is not necessary. Go to Youtube and you will see most drummers with the bass drum and themselves facing forward.
 
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MrPockets

Gold Member
Agree with your reasoning but would still like to have the hihat pedal a little more forward which would bet you a little more centered without moving anything else. That to me is a little too wide. My groin muscles hurt.
Or the maniquin is 5 feet tall.
 

rain dog

Member
I see. Yeah I feel like I'm slightly facing sideways to the left when I should be centered.
that is usually the case especially with double toms on the bass drum. the rightmost tom is pretty far over in the corner to reach especially when you are not really facing that way. the floor tom is easier since it is much closer.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Ok. I felt like the bass pedal would be in the way if I centered the snare since the bass drum pedal (and bass drum) are centered, but I'll adjust (I'm a bit psychological).
On your set up, you couldn't hit dead center but you could gain several inches.

You could set up a double pedal "left handed" which puts the right pedal out of the way. I liked the center snare so I opted for the double pedal that has the pedals to the right and left with the beaters in the center.
 

beeter

Senior Member
Where would my snare be if the Toms are to be held by the snare stand?

Hey beeter.......it's a very daunting task to get your kit set up to be ergonomic, comfortable etc.

Everyone goes through it and even seasoned professionals still continually change their set up as they evolve musically.

There are so many factors involved such as your height, style of music and your natural gait when you sit, stand walk etc.

There's some absolutely fantastic resources available online that can steer you in the right direction.

YouTube has some very detailed and clear hints on your set-up.

The issue is we are ALL different with different sounds required for our playing.

The set-up that you have shown us has highlighted a few things to me.

Now these things are only MY perspective and Id be more than happy to explain to you on here if you like.

1) Your floor tom is too far away from your centre of gravity.

Bring your floor tom closer to your right side, that way you don't need to lean across so much......if you lean over too much you will lose your bass pedal control and it will sound uneven.

2) Your second tom is outside of your "reach of comfort radius"

If you put the second tom on the first tom mount and move your first tom on to a snare stand.......it will give you good easy access to both toms.

You can put your second tom on the snare stand if the snare basket won't accept anything under 12 inch diameter.

3) Your cymbals MAY be tilted too far inwards.


If you want me to continue chatting with you about it, we can go right back to basics if you like and we can build it up from scratch......but see how you go first.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Where would my snare be if the Toms are to be held by the snare stand?
For some people like me...... having a tom on a snare stand can make it easier to place a tom closer to the snare.

Your snare will still be where it is.......what I was meaning was a second snare stand for one of your toms.
 

beeter

Senior Member
So should my foundation be determined by the hi hat pedal and the bass drum pedal? Then the snare being centered?

Yeah I was too hung up on having the set facing straight and facing forward.

The bass drum and its pedal should not be considered "center"; the center of your knees when you sit comfortably is the center, and your snare drum should be there. Don't get hung up on facing a certain way or having the kick face a certain way.

Figure three in the Drum! article I posted in my first reply illustrates this perfectly. Please take the time to look at this article - it answers many of your questions.

 
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